Taking Care of Yourself this Holiday Season
Have you ever experienced a “Blue Christmas?” Maybe something about the holiday
season just makes you stressed or sad. Stress can increase around the holiday season
because of heightened expectations, financial burdens, and busy schedules. One thing
that may be causing you stress and worry is having to spend the holidays with difficult
family members. You might be thinking, “How will I make it through dinner without
going off?” Another reason you may experience sadness around this time of year is
that you are missing a loved one that you used to spend the seasonal times with. The
key to making it through the holiday season, no matter what is getting to you, is
Self-care is taking care of yourself in the best way for you. There are many things
you can do to take care of yourself every day, some big and some small. Anything from
brushing your teeth, getting some exercise, watching a favorite movie, or buying yourself
something nice are all forms of self-care. It is important o practice self-care year-round,
but during this time of the year in which we are more likely to experience negative
feelings, there are some seasonal-specific things you can do to improve your holiday
experience and hopefully lower stress and increase happiness. Try out some of these
tips for practicing self-care during the holiday season:
Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or seek counseling to talk about how
you are feeling. Or to just talk in general. Talking can help you work out your thoughts
Practice deep breathing and mindfulness. When you are experiencing heightened moments
of stress, try taking deep breathes and counting to ten. You could also try naming
things you are grateful for while deep breathing.
Avoid comparing your holidays to others’. What you see on social media is not exactly
what is going on in real life. People choose what they put online, meaning it is the
best version they could project into the world. They aren’t sharing their arguments,
crying kids, or ruined desserts online for a reason.
Try out a new hobby or something you’ve always wanted to learn to do. It may be especially
helpful to try a relaxing hobby. Some ideas could be painting, cross stitch, embroidery,
crochet, knitting, sewing, or baking.
Create a cozy area you can retreat to. This could be a spot in your bedroom, or a
corner in the living room. Set up with a comfy place to sit, some blankets, mood lighting,
and cushy pillows. Make this your go-to spot for when you need to wind down.
Drink a warm beverage such as tea, coffee, hot cocoa, or cider to calm down or to
just treat yourself when the mood strikes.
There might not be anything worse than dealing with all the stress and being uncomfortable
while you do it. Try dressing comfy. Break out the stretchy pants and fuzzy socks.
Pair them with a nice (but comfy) top and you are picture perfect from the waist up,
but you are also comfortable a ready to take on the day.
Take a walk and enjoy the fall foliage. Take pictures or write in a journal about
your views. Whether it’s after you’ve eaten a bit too much or maybe the family discussion
is turning into more of an argument, a walk can be beneficial for you physically and
Listen to calming music, a podcast you enjoy, an audiobook, or watch a comforting
TV show or movie to wind down after a long day.
Unplug from your phone and social media and spend time with family and friends and
just enjoy the moment together.
We all know the holidays can be stressful or even sad, but they can also be enjoyable
if we make them that way. Whatever it may be for you that is causing these stressors
this season, you are not alone. Many people around you are also feeling the same way.
Simple self-care moments can help you during the holidays. By practicing some self-care
during this time of the year, we can lower our stress levels and increase those happiness
levels. Give some of these tips a try and see how it can positively effect your time
spent celebrating this year.
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